Welcome to the month of June where strawberries will be picked in abundance. In preparation for local festivities such as ice cream socials, strawberry festivals and pool parties, I believe it’s safe to say the warm weather is here to stay. Enjoy this weather by picking your own berries. You’ll need the delicious fruit for Friday’s National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day on Wednesday, June 9th!
Rhubarb is harvested during the middle of May and early June. Rhubarb is mostly known for being the primary ingredient in savory pies and other such meals. However, many lack the knowledge of its cleansing abilities. “Rub a cut stalk of rhubarb over a burnt skillet and let the high oleic acid content do the work. It’s (oleic acid) been a primary ingredient in many cleansers for over 100 years,” says the National Day Calendar (NDC).
Oleic acid is high in monounsaturated fats, or healthy fats, and used in many oils: olive oil, canola, peanut and pecan oil, sesame, sunflower and soybean oil to name a few examples. Comparable to the shells of cashews (as noted in my April 26th post), rhubarb leaves are also toxic to the human body. Rhubarb is so high in oleic acid, in fact, the leaves are toxic to humans,” states the NDC. Be careful what you ingest.
The stalks, on the other hand, contain the most nutritional benefits. Possibly containing cancer fighting agents, sufficient data proves a decreased risk of breast cancer and coronary heart disease in rhubarb stalks. Other data also suggest the possibility of lowering the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. To read more about the interesting acid, visit the scientists at Wikipedia, or the researchers at livestrong or webmd.
Confused over not-knowing if rhubarb is a fruit or vegetable? Well, kudos to whichever one you chose because both could be right. However, you would be more correct in choosing a vegetable because it’s made from other plants. On the contrary though, in a New York City courtroom in 1947, rhubarb was considered a fruit in order to “save businesses who imported rhubarb from spending additional money on taxes,” states a vegan couple.
In addition, as we have entered the month of June, and are full-swing into the heat of summer, what other meals/desserts could be made with strawberries? Perhaps the most common, this time of year, is strawberry shortcake. Visit www.pfudge.com today and order our fudge-of-the-month, Strawberry Shortcake Fudge, before the month ends.